Australia’s ultra-prolific King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have shared a third sneak peek at their upcoming 20th studio release, Omnium Gatherum, with a trippy new video and single, “Kepler-22b”. Named after an exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of the Sun-like star Kepler-22, the groovy, psychedelic exposition evokes ’90s acid jazz and features a sample of pianist Barner McAll‘s “Yemaya One”.
“I actually found Barney’s record at a store in New York,” guitarist Cook Craig wrote in a social media post accompanying the video. “I hadn’t heard any of his stuff before, but I remember putting it on and being blown away straight up. I remember thinking damn this is literally a sampler’s dream, it also took me a while before I actually realised he was from Melbourne too. I guess it’s funny like that, sometimes you gotta travel half way around the world to discover an inspiring piece of music made by someone who probably lives on the same block as you.”
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Coming after the release of “Magenta Mountain” and “The Dripping Tap“, which clock in at over 24 minutes between them, “Kepler-22b” is a digestible three-minute exploration of extrasolar space, with expansive, ambient synth patches as the backdrop and added tape saturation and distortion to give it a warm, vintage vibe. Though brimming with sonic energy, the arrangement is simple and relatively static for King Gizzard, whose tracks sometimes fluctuate between disparate musical styles and textures.
The song’s lyrics are a little hard to parse through the layer of echo applied to the vocals, but they tell the story of a boy who is unable to focus on earthly matters, dreaming instead of becoming a NASA astronaut and escaping to the planet Kepler-22b. “Kepler-22b / that is the place for me,” he declares in the first and second verse. Without the high grades to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut, he builds a makeshift telescope in his closet and points it at Kepler-22b—and what does he see? “A telescope pointing back at me / On Kepler-22b.”
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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s Omnium Gatherum will drop this Friday, April 22nd. The band will embark on a world tour later this year, with North American dates beginning on April 17th in Las Vegas, NV. Watch the video for “Kepler-22b” below, and for a full list of tour dates and to purchase tickets, click here.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – “Kepler-22b” (Official Video)